The activities of the Bureau are directed by its mission and task.

The MISSION of the Bureau of the WAT is to serve the Afrikaans language and its users as well as lexicography in general, especially South African lexicography.

Its TASK is:

  1. to continue the compilation of the WAT, to complete it as soon as possible, and from time to time to improve the dictionary by
    (a) the uninterrupted, representative and comprehensive collection, arrangement and storage in a lexicographically workable form of the vocabulary of the Afrikaans language in all its variations; and
    (b) the editing of the collected material according to scientifically established lexicographic principles in the form of an authoritative, user-friendly, synchronic explanatory dictionary in consecutive volumes;
  2. to grant controlled access to the language material and sources of the Bureau to bona fide researchers and to answer linguistic enquiries;
  3. to endeavour to establish appropriate lexicographic products with the assistance of external authors;
  4. to produce the WAT and all satellite publications cost-effectively;
  5. to market all products dynamically and economically;
  6. to act as growth point and stimulus for lexicographic activities and metalexicographic thought;
  7. to liaise with South African and foreign lexicographic and linguistic institutions with a view to exchanging lexicographic knowledge, information and publications;
  8. to contribute to lexicographic theory and practice in the form of scientific publications;
  9. to assist in raising the general level of lexicography, especially in South Africa and Africa, through co-operation with external dictionary projects;
  10. to play an active role in the rectification of inequalities on the terrain of lexicography through training;
  11. to contribute to the establishment and development of South African lexicography in support of the aims of the Pan South African Language Board; and
  12. to strive for need-directedness and quality in its activities and products.